The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed our work and social lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. It has been both unpredictable and destructive, not only in the markets, but in the business basics we are accustomed to, and most of all to humanity as a whole.
While financial advisors are highly skilled when it comes to helping clients plan for retirement or make wise decisions with their money, the coronavirus has caused many unforeseen and unique challenges. With the global lockdown as it stands, businesses are having to adjust to the ‘new business basics’ way of working in isolation.
How can you as a business owner adapt to this “new normal”, work from home, provide stability and peace of mind to your customers?
Innovate new ways of client interaction
Adapt, innovate, overcome!
We are lucky to live in a tech-advanced era with the possibility to operate business-as-usual. While in-person meetings are no longer going ahead for advisors, videoconferencing is the ‘new norm’.
It’s important to stay connected with clients through the use of video platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or GoToMeeting.
Video calls add the ‘face-to-face’ element when checking in with your clients. Being able to see what your demeanor is, and having the ability to ask questions and get reassurance from you during this time of uncertainty will go a long way in setting your clients’ minds at ease.
Within days of the pandemic declaration, the number of Zoom meetings at consulting firm ZS shot up from 4,000 to 11,000 a day, a whopping 175% increase.
Worried that your older clients may not be able to get to grips with the tech? Send out a simple step-by-step guide with links via email for how to set up video conferencing, alongside daily updates on the market as it stands.
It’s essential to embrace technology and remain available to your clients, offering helpful advice and reassurance to their concerns no matter how big or small.
Hone your relationships
Building a business doesn’t happen overnight, and neither does building strong relationships.
But it is in times like these, where the stakes are high and emotions are even higher, that you can build trust and strengthen the relationships you have worked so hard to cultivate.
Small gestures often go a long way, and with everyone retreating inside, a visit from the postman can be a highlight of any given day.
Sending personalized greeting cards and gifts to clients is a good way to maintain a strong professional and personal relationship with them.
Despite being in the middle of the worst global crisis since WW2, everyday events are still continuing—albeit behind closed doors. Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and the like are moments where you can show clients you care.
During this everchanging pandemic, you cannot ‘overcommunicate’, so communicate as much as possible.
Actions like this provide a welcome change in the monotony of the current situation. It also allows you to remind them of the work you have done for them in the past which puts you in good stead to weather storms such as this.
In times of disruption, being ‘constant’ stands out and is absolutely invaluable. Be the reassurance they need!
Communicate with transparency and confidence
Interacting with clients must be done in the right way. Be clear, honest and compassionate, but ensure you are transparent with your answers.
This means providing both truthful and accurate descriptions of the reality of the situation, as much as your knowledge permits.
State what you know alongside what you don’t know, and what you anticipate with what you think that means for people and businesses.
It is critical to communicate information in a way that people can easily understand, but with an air of hope for the future by encouraging focus beyond today’s headlines. This will help people to direct their energy and thoughts forward, and not make any drastic or unwanted decisions.
Maybe provide a weekly webinar where clients can ask pressing questions and your team can provide sincere and valued solutions.
Remember it’s still all about people
As the new business basics are shifting to a more “off-campus” approach, business remains a person-to-person endeavor. Technology can provide us with innovative new ways to interact with clients, and you can make a great impression by helping them learn to use these new tools. It’s important to remember that everyday events like birthdays and anniversaries (even business ones!) are still happening and that these can be a great excuse to reach out to your clients.
Finally, remember to be transparent, honest, and confident in your communications. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment and so being clear in what you’re saying is more important than ever.